One section of Om Yoga Magazine that I always look forward to reading especially is the nutrition section. I hunt down the Aryuveda Clinic pages, keen to learn more, and peruse the conscious eating recipes as I plan my weekly shop. This month, I was particularly drawn to Elizabeth Montgomery’s article on detoxing. The term is one that is starting to get seriously overused, which makes it hard for anyone on a health kick to work out what the actual benefits are. A true detoxification of man-made pollutants, for example, would involve potentially two years sitting on a deserted island and giving time for complete cellular regeneration: something that isn’t exactly realistic. In the article, Montgomery states that detoxing should “be viewed as an integral part of a healthy lifestyle”. I think this is a good mentality to have, much like saying “lifestyle” instead of “diet”.
So what detoxes should we look for? The article helpfully describes six key types of detoxing so that you can work out which way to cleanse your body… because lets face it, after busy working lives, stress, holiday food and living in urbanised areas, we all could do with time to listen to our bodies!
This focuses on removing toxins from the liver (hello alcohol and desserts), lungs, kidneys, colon and skin. Specific diet guides are given along with supplements. Saunas are also considered good for sweating out the nasty stuff, particularly in specialised infrared lighting. Organ detoxification is considered an important first step to detoxing.
The one we all know about. Juice detoxes last one to seven days and may include some solid raw food and supplements. You usually drink five or six juices per day, which helps to keep blood glucose levels steady. Juice detoxes are popular with those wishing to lose weight or be reenergised.
Heavy Metal Detox
No, this does not mean reevaluating your music choices! Heavy metals accumulate in our food chains, and water systems. In larger amounts, heavy metals are exceptionally toxic, but even traces can cause fatigue or a weakened immune system. With mercury, lead, arsenic and other harmful metals present in our diets, a monitored diet and supplements to remove the metals are required.
This detox encompasses all aspects of your wellbeing, rather than just diet. Periods of rest from work and stress are recommended with plenty of sleep. Alongside this, acupuncture, meditation, Tai Chi, yoga and spa treatments are encouraged.
For those of you concerned about the effect of laptops, phones, tablets and gadgets have (called electromagnetic stress), the EMF is for you. At it’s core, the detox involves part or full removal of yourself from many electronic equipment… which in today’s ultra connected world isn’t a bad thing, regardless of whether EMF is a concern to you or not.
Finally, the fungi-busting detox. Our high sugar lifestyles encourage growth of the fungi Candida, which causes headaches, fatigue and thrush. It is generally recommended to get specialist help in tailoring a diet plan for this, since it can last for several months and restricts many food types. Luckily, there are lots of low sugar recipe books to keep you motivated.
Psst! For daily detoxing, and sweetening up hydration, don’t forget to try infused water. Here are a few ideas:
You could also try lemon and ginger; cucumber and strawberry; apple and cinnamon sticks; watermelon and mint and whatever else you can think of.
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Disclaimer: I am an Affiliated Blogger with Om Yoga Magazine. Each issue I will write a post on an article from the magazine and share it with you. Have a look here to find about the other lovely affiliated bloggers.